When your child goes to college you know they will learn a lot. For many new college students, this is the first time living away from the comfort of their home and away from the watchful eyes of their parents.
When buying a vehicle for your student, you want to make sure that you can find a reliable vehicle at a great price. This can be difficult to ensure without physically being with them at the time of purchase.
If you can send them a car instead of expecting them to buy one when they arrive, you can save your child and yourself some hard lessons. You want your child to have a safe, reliable car that they will love.
Remember, this is a new and overwhelming time in their life that can lead to dispersed thoughts and a lack of focus when it comes to making smart decisions about purchasing transportation for their college years.
Here are some tips on buying and shipping a car to your college student.
Invest in something trustworthy
If you choose to buy your child a student vehicle locally, you can enjoy more confidence in the purchase. You can
- Buy from a reputable dealer
- Have a trusted mechanic check it out
- take a test drive
- Talk to your insurance agent about the best choice for your child's risk group
Whether your child has your car insurance or their own policy, the vehicle they drive has a huge impact on their insurance costs.
Protect your child from distractions
If you plan to use auto transportation services to bring your child a car from Ohio or another state, you have some control over the timing of the vehicle delivery. There are many companies that offer affordable prices and professional coverage of the vehicle while it is in their care.
Even if your child already has a vehicle at home that drives them, these shipping services let you fly to their college campus while the shipping companies take care of transporting their vehicle and belongings.
This is ideal for keeping your college students well-rested for the first week of class without risking a long drive across the country.
Remember, your child will face a lot of distractions during their freshman year of college. You can protect them from wrong decisions by offering them their own car in the second year if they do without a car in the first year.
This can be used to encourage them to work hard on their studies and to give them something to look forward to if they stay focused and disciplined on their studies.
Unless your child is required to have a car for their first year to and from work, driving without a car on campus may be a better choice.
They will have fewer parking worries and less choice of where to spend their time when not in class. Distractions can mean the difference between returning to year two and dropping out.
Avoid maintenance worries
If you can convince your child to wait for a vehicle by the age of two, then you can buy something reliable. For your child, this can be perceived as "boring" and that is fine. For many parents, a brand new car for their student is not financially possible.
Additionally, college parking lots aren't always friendly to new vehicles; Doorbells and theft are less of a problem when you can offer your child a long-lasting, less than flashy, used car.
Once you find the right car, you can take it to your favorite mechanic and have the following checked:
If your child is not mechanical or is on a very tight budget, these are the factors that may fail and will be ignored by your child. They are also the greatest danger to your child and the vehicle if they fail over time.
You can never be sure that a vehicle won't break down or need repair, but you can be more confident that the car will start when you turn the key if you have the opportunity to have it properly inspected before you hand over the vehicle.
Trust in the quality of the vehicle
If you want to ship the car, you can drive it for a month before sending it to your child. You can check the tires every weekend to make sure there is no slow leak.
You can make sure the brakes don't squeal, the steering wheel isn't pulling due to misalignment, and the power steering pump isn't groaning because it's ready to fail.
These factors are especially important if your child grew up in warm temperatures and goes to school in a climate that is prone to frost and snow.
A poorly maintained radiator or power steering pump that has run too low cannot withstand extreme cold, and proper tires and tread are critical in these environments.
Your child can be incredibly responsible. However, a busy student may miss conditions such as a slow drip from a radiator. You might miss a small oil leak in a crowded college campus parking lot.
These are the risks that can cause your child to be stranded after a night shift at work or in the study group. If your child is on a tight schedule, a minor setback can hit academics hard.
When you send your child a car, you have both control and a bargaining power. If you can keep them car-free during that critical first year so they can spend their time and effort on campus and focus on their schoolwork, you can help them make the best decisions.
About the author:
Taylor Haskings is a freelance writer born in Denver, Colorado. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Colorado, Denver. She enjoys hiking in the Colorado Rockies and loves the fine arts, such as playing the violin. One of their real strengths is networking with others and expressing themselves through the written word.